17.24: Ensembles and Genre

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Zoraida CordovaKaela Rivera, and Howard Tayler

This week we’re talking about how our genre choice influences the structure of our ensemble. How is a heist ensemble different from a superhero team? What happens when the superheroes need to do a heist?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Imagine your work-in-progress as a different genre. How would your cast or ensemble need to change?

Slow Horses (Apple TV)

5 thoughts on “17.24: Ensembles and Genre”

  1. A classic ensemble is the old M*A*S*H TV show. It started out as the “Hawkeye and Trapper John Show”. But over time it evolved to where the secondary characters became much more prominent.

    This aspect was its secret to longevity. The writers could take a small idea and bounce it through the ensemble. Each would come up with a different take on it or contribute something different to the solution. By the time they were done it was time to wrap the episode up.

    So, if you want to do a series that can continue for a long time, consider the ensemble format.

  2. How do you see writing ensembles as different in fiction vs. other mediums? Are there specific prose techniques or pitfalls for writing ensembles?

  3. This week, the gathered quartet, Dan, Zoraida, Kaela, and Howard, looked at how ensembles and genre interact. The genre you choose can affect the kinds of ensembles you use! Jason Bourne, James Bond, Oceans and Avengers movies, Man from UNCLE, Shonan fight scenes, The Incredibles and the Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy and Murder, She Wrote. Lots of examples, and you can read all about it in the transcript now available in the archives.

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